Awesome Everywhere!

United States


Ann Arbor, MI

Asheville, NC

Atlanta, GA

Austin, TX

Baltimore, MD

Beaverton & Beyond, OR

Bend, OR

Birmingham, AL

Boston, MA

Boulder, CO

Cass Clay

Chicago, IL

Detroit, MI

El Paso, TX

Gloucester, MA

Grass Valley, CA

LA South Bay, CA

Long Island, NY

Los Angeles, CA

Louisville, KY

Madison, WI

Miami, FL

New York City, NY

North Minneapolis, MN

Northampton, MA

Northern Virginia (NOVA)

Oahu, HI

Oakland, CA

Oklahoma City, OK

Orlando, FL

Philadelphia, PA

Piqua, OH

Pittsburgh, PA

Plano, TX

Portland, OR

Raleigh, NC

Rockport, MA

San Antonio, TX

San Jose, CA

Santa Fe, NM

Seattle, WA

South Bend, IN

Tallahassee, FL

Twin Cities, MN

Washington, DC

West Virginia

United Arab Emirates


About Us

AWESOME BEND: Making Bend more awesome, $1000 at a time. Our mission is to inspire & support ideas that can make Bend an even better place to live, work and play.

Next AWESOME BEND PITCH NIGHT: January 17th, 2017 6-8:30pm Deschutes Brewery Tap Room 1044 NW Bond St (Upstairs)


Live crowdfunding-- Shark Tank style-- for community good. $1000 awarded on the spot! Join us for a free feel-good evening of Ideas & Inspiration.


Awesome Bend Hosts Record Pitch Night

BEND, Ore. — October 19, 2016 — A record total of $1935 was awarded at the October 18th Awesome Bend Pitch Night held at Deschutes Brewery. The winner of the $1000 Awesome Bend grant was Phil Torchio who proposed the Bend Butt Project. With the money, Torchio will identify areas of highest litter rates, put into place receptacles and assemble a crew to capture the butts. The trash will be recycled or composted. He will be seeking local businesses to host receptacles and sponsor the program. “Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide,” said Torchio. “Our quaint little mountain town of Bend is not immune to this problem. Many of the discarded butts end up in our river and water supply which is absolutely unacceptable. A strong stance must be established or we will be overrun by disrespectful slobs!” The Audience Choice prize of $395 was awarded to Nancy Ludeman for her project called Hope Bags. Ludeman will assemble bags filled with personal items and small gifts which she will distribute to women who find themselves in difficult situations, such as homelessness, coming out of jail, fleeing an abusive situation or aging out of the foster care system. “Having lived in Bend for 41 years, I have seen many changes,” said Ludeman. “Most of the changes have provided many opportunities for the community to flourish, yet some of these same changes have also brought hardship upon some individuals and families. Hope fuels creativity and creative people are more likely to invest in themselves and others. I want to provide hope in a bag.” “As if that weren’t enough,” added Dean of Awesomeness Pam Stevenson, “a few trustees bonded together to make an additional contribution to another project that inspired them. I’m calling it a Spontaneous Awesomeness award.”
Joe Schulte received a commitment of $540 to provide free music lessons to children whose families cannot afford them.


Winner of our JANUARY 19, 2016 PITCH NIGHT:

Thirteen-year-old Alice McKnight won a record $1397 at the January Awesome Bend Pitch Night with a proposal called “Canine Care Kits”. Five finalists presented ideas to make Bend more awesome to room full of nearly 100 people at the event held on January19th at Deschutes Brewery. Alice won the $1000 grant from ten trustees who each donated $100 to make her idea a reality. In addition, she won the audience favorite award of $397. With the money, Alice will build and distribute canine care kits to homeless people in Bend. The kits will include dog food, dog chews, a leash, a foam sleeping pad and a collapsible water bowl. Alice had noticed that many homeless people in Bend have dogs, but she worried about how they were able to care for their dogs. “Caring for a dog can make you feel needed and wanted and can take your mind off your problems,” she said. “These kits will help homeless people keep their dogs healthier and happier which in turn will keep the humans healthy and happy too.”

Read about Alice here:

PAST NEWS: Winner of the inaugural Awesome Bend Pitch Night 4/21/15:

Wow! We are so honored to announce the winner of our very first Awesome Bend grant: Tracy Miller with "We Are Remembering- Not Just a Number". She walked away with the $1000 and another $221 from the audience to make her dream a reality-- remembering every single American killed in Afghanistan and Iraq during a 14-hour plus reading of names broadcast live to the world via webcast from our very own Troy Field this Memorial Day. There wasn't a dry eye or uninspired person in the room. Thank you, trustees. Thank you, audience. Tracy Miller, you are awesome.

Check out our TV coverage and story:


Awesome Bend awards a $1000 grant quarterly to a project that will make Bend even more awesome. The definition of "awesome" is intentionally left up to your imagination. It could mean solving a problem, making someone stop and think, or spreading joy-- think social good, the environment, technology, arts and beyond!

The grant has no strings attached (other than doing something awesome and telling us about it). We are high on action and low on bureaucracy. The application takes 15 minutes or less. Finalists deliver a 3-minute pitch at Pitch Night, where we select a winner and hand out $1000 on the spot to help them turn their awesome idea into reality.

Our only rules:

1.The project must be feasible and completed within 3 months of the award.

2.The money cannot be used for personal expenses or operating expenses for an established charity.

3.You agree to come back to the next Pitch Night and tell the community all about your project, thus inspiring future awesomeness.

(Hint for success: In your application, state very specifically, how your project will make Bend even more awesome.)


We need you! Give back and have loads of fun doing it.

Every quarter, each of our 10 trustees donates $100 and helps select the most crazy, brilliant, positive-impact project proposal to receive our combined $1000.

Want to be a catalyst for awesomeness? Apply to become an Awesome Bend trustee here.

Meet the Trustees